At 18 years old, Anastasija Zolotic is already one of the top young stars in the world of taekwondo. After winning a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Zolotic is hoping to find similar success when she makes her Olympic debut in Tokyo.
As part of our preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to a wide range of athletes to learn more about their lives on and off the field of play.
Here’s some of what we found out about Anastasija Zolotic:
Tell us about your family.
My mother’s name is Dragana Zolotic. She works as a nurse and enjoys spending time with the family more then anything. My father's name is Dalibor Zolotic and he owns a granite company. He enjoys boating and grilling. My sister's name is Natalija Zolotic and she enjoys hanging out with her friends and going shopping.
Where does your family come from?
Parent influence on athletic career?
My parents have been the most influential in my athletic career by pushing me to be the best and showing me that anything you put your mind to can become possible.
Do you have any pets?
I have one dog and his name is Cory. He is a miniature pincher. He means a lot to me and to my life. He is like a comfort zone for me and am able to cool off when I am with him.
How much time do you train? How much do you sleep?
I spend four hours training each day and I sleep for eight hours.
Typical training day?
I wake up at 7:30 AM and get ready for a taekwondo training session from 9 AM to 11 AM and then we usually have a break before another taekwondo session from 2 PM to 4 PM. Some days we have weight training in the morning or afternoon session.
What's your favorite workout?
My favorite workout is our coach’s taekwondo judo mat exercises.
I eat a lot of protein like chicken and steak. I also eat a lot of vegetables, so my meals have a protein and a vegetable as well as carbs sometimes.
Earliest memory of taekwondo?
My earliest memory of doing taekwondo would probably be when I was about 8 years old. I remember my first event I had gone to and being excited about competing at another one. One thing about my sport that propelled me to dedicate my life to it is the physical part of it.
Specific breakthrough moment?
I think after winning the junior worlds, gold at the Youth Olympic qualifiers, and the silver at the Youth Olympics it pushed me to go further into my sport and see where it could go. I honestly think that me being able to medal at a Grand Prix and at the Pan American Games it gave me a better feeling of being able to compete at that level.
Earliest memory of watching the Olympics?
My earliest memory of watching the Olympics was in 2016. My favorite part about it was seeing athletes be excited about their sport and pushing hard to win what they have worked hard for. I don’t think at that age I imagined myself being in the Olympics because I did not think I had what it took to get there.
Which Winter Olympic event would you like to try?
I would like to try snowboarding.
I have to have my lucky belt and nails painted blue.
Do you have a nickname?
I have a nickname that most people call me. They call me Ana. They call me it because my actual name is hard to pronounce.
Do you collect anything?
When I travel I collect keychains from different countries and places I visit. My collection started because I was looking for a gift for my sister and ended up getting key chains, and we started collecting them. My collection is a decent size.
What would you be doing if not an athlete?
I would like to be more focused on my education and be more focused on that and my career as becoming an orthodontist.
Do you sing or play an instrument?
I love to sing but I am very bad at it. It’s something I do at home when I’m alone or in my room when I’m just relaxing.
Advice you'd give a young taekwondo athlete?
To take every opportunity that is handed to them and just enjoy every moment that they have. I would also tell them that they have one of the best opportunities and that being young is just an advantage.